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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  January 16, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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in the italian cruise ship disaster under fire as the list of missing passengers grows. allen pizzey reports from the italian coast. jon huntsman quits the presidential race. jan crawford on how that changes mitt romney's chances. lucy craft is in the radiation zone near japan's crippled nuclear power plant. see how the dangerous cleanup is going. >> reporter: this contains the top inch of soil, it's highly contaminated. >> pelley: and on this martin luther king day, the civil rights history you've never heard. jim axelrod has our story. >> reporter: were you thinking to yourselves "hey, we're going to make history here"? >> no, we were thinking we were
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going to sit and enjoy dessert. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. we begin tonight off the coast of italy where crews are searching for survivors from that cruise ship that ran aground and foundered on friday night. 4,000 passengers and crew were on board. italy's coast guard says at least six people are dead and tonight the number of people missing has risen to 29. they include jerry and barbara heil of white bear lake, minnesota. a retired couple who raised four children and dreamed of this eight day mediterranean cruise. but the voyage of the "costa concordia" lasted only hours. nearly 1,000 feet long with 17 decks, she is now off the west coast of italy aground on the island of giglio. we sent allen pizzey there today. >> reporter: hope of finding any
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survivors-- including a missing american couple-- is fading fast. divers have been risking their lives to search flooded passages and compartments. the rescue operation had to be suspended for a few hours today when it was feared rough seas might make the ship slide into deeper water. the captain claimed the hull of the luxury liner was torn open but a reef not marked on his chart. something maritime officials and local fishermen say is not possible. this coast is just too well charted. it's incredible to think a line the size of the "costa concordia" came this close to shore. that rock behind me is what the ship struck. it's what tore a 160-foot gash in its hull. and the ship has come in close before. this amateur video shot a few weeks ago shows it doing what is known locally as sailing by the horn. showing off by coming close and blowing the ship's horn to impress passengers. the c.e.o. of the cruise company blamed the captain.
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>> we believe it's human error here on the captain. he did not follow the authorized route. (screaming) >> reporter: when the ship finally ran aground, passengers were frantic. the evacuation drill has never been run. the lucas family from alaska knew they were on their own. >> so we grabbed a few things, mostly our pajamas. >> reporter: they made their way to a lifeboat station. >> people were panicking and yelling and pushing. they wanted to be the first on the lifeboat and we were up close. we didn't get on the first lifeboat and then they were gone and there we stood. >> reporter: the only way down to other life rafts were the rope ladders that are still hanging over the side. >> coming down the latter was definitely the scariest part. we hoped in and there's other people coming down the ladder and they cut us loose and we're gone and these other people are hanging 50, 100 feet in the air and there they are, you know? >> that was scary. >> reporter: so ends what was supposed to be an idyllic holiday aboard what only a few
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days ago was one of the most luxurious cruise liners afloat. the captain's lawyers say he is pained and overcome at the loss of life, but tomorrow he will appear in court for the first time. scott? >> pelley: allen, what sort of charges would the captain be facing? >> well, he can be charged with multiple manslaughter for the deaths, for abandoning his ship which carries a penalty of up to 12 years under italian law, and also with causing an accident at sea. >> pelley: we were hearing earlier today the black box recorder has been recovered from the ship. what kinds of things that will tell the investigators? >> reporter: just about everything. it's like that black box recorder on the aircraft. it will tell them course, speed, position and many other vital statistics about the ship. and most importantly, we're told it also records conversations on the bridge which will tell the coast guard and the lawyers and the courts exactly what went on and perhaps why. >> pelley: allen, thank you very much. we wondered what ships normally do in that area. the maritime insurance company
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lloyd's drew this map with the normal route between giglio and the mainland. this is the course that the "costa concordia" took. the captain, is also charged with abandoning ship before the evacuation was complete. the reports of panic that allen was talking about, we wondered how american crews are trained. mark strassmann found out today in florida. >> evacuation control center, bridge. >> reporter: the stimulator outside fort lauderdale trains 2 senior officers a year from cargo ships and cruise ships. >> close watertight doors. >> reporter: the mock disaster we watched simulated running aground. >> all passengers muster at their muster stations. >> reporter: followed by the order to abandonship. >> we are aground. >> reporter: gerry pannell, a sea captain for 14 years, directs the training. >> everybody will be looking to the captain to make the decisions that need to be made in a timely manner. >> reporter: it's up to him to
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communicate quickly, clearly, get the message out? >> absolutely. and he has an on-board team that consists not only of his bridge crew but every other officer and crew member on board to help him carry out and deal with that emergency. >> reporter: cruise ships around the world are supposed to follow minimum safety codes established by the international maritime organization, an arm of the u.n. the codes includes numbers of lifeboats and life jackets and a requirement to stage a lifeboat drill within at least 24 hours of departure. but enforcement varies depending on the ship's home port and the country in which it's registered and while officers receive extensive training like this, the hundreds of waiters, maids, and support staff get only two weeks of basic safety training. another challenge is communication. cruise ship staff comes from many countries. >> so they are communicating in a crisis, remind you, in a secondary language. >> reporter: international rules require that a ship be empty within 30 minutes of an order to
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abandon ship. but maritime lawyer brett rivkind says that's unrealistic for giant cruise ships that have become an industry standard. >> we've seen these megaships be built with over 4,000, 5,000 passengers, like a floating city. we haven't had time to really see all the dangers that comes with that. >> reporter: u.s. safety regulations for cruise ships are higher than the international standard. right now there are 256 registered cruise ships sailing around the world, but only one of them is registered here in the u.s. scott? >> pelley: the "costa concordia" hadn't had its lifeboat drill because it hadn't been under way for 24 hours when the accident happened. mark, thanks very much. in the presidential race, the republican field is down to five. former utah governor jon huntsman dropped out today and threw his support behind front-runner mitt romney. what does all that mean to the next primary on saturday in south carolina? jan crawford is in myrtle beach tonight, jan? >> reporter: scott, huntsman's
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campaign never really took off except among newspaper editorial boards. among republican voters he was polling in the bottom, in the single digits. so while his endorsement of mitt romney may not bring along a lot of votes, it does reinforce romney's message that he is the one candidate who can beat barack obama. >> i believe it is now time for our party to unite around the candidate best equipped to defeat barack obama. >> reporter: it was just a week ago jon huntsman was throwing punches at romney. >> governor romney enjoys firing people. i enjoy creating jobs. >> reporter: today he urged the other candidates to stop the negative campaigning. >> this race has degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks not worthy of the american people. >> reporter: the race has grown increasingly heated as the contenders try to stop the romney juggernaut. former house speaker newt
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gingrich-- once a front-runner-- has thrown the sharpest jabs. but the harder gingrich hits, polls show, the faster he falls, with romney out front and libertarian ron paul holding steady, former pennsylvania senator rick santorum is threatening to overtake gingrich amongst social conservatives in south carolina, just as he did in iowa. gingrich, fighting to keep his campaign going, today turned his attack on santorum. >> if you vote for senator santorum, in effect you're functionally voting for governor romney to be the nominee, because he's not going to beat him. >> reporter: now, south carolina may well be the last chance for these other candidates to throw roadblocks into romney's path to the nomination. but if he wins big here, he'll have just a handful of the 1,144 delegates he'll need to win the nomination. but, scott, he's going to go into florida with almost unstoppable momentum. >> pelley: and no non-incumbent republican has ever won the first three contests in a row. thanks, jan.
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the federal government is actually blocking a new south carolina election law. south carolina is one of 11 states that have recently toughened requirements for voters, such as requiring a photo i.d. to vote. supporters say the laws will reduce voter fraud, but opponents say they are really meant to suppress voter turnout. here's nancy cordes. >> reporter: hundreds of south carolinians marched to the statehouse today to protest the state's new law requiring a photo i.d. to vote. the state is locked in a dispute over the law with the u.s. attorney general eric holder. >> the arc of american history has bent toward the inclusion, not the exclusion, of more of our fellow citizens in the electoral process. >> reporter: the justice department says south carolina's law harms minority voters who are less likely to have a state i.d. larry butler has been voting without one all his life. >> they have not any proof that there are any fraudulent
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activities and things like that, so why would they want to do this? >> reporter: seven states have passed photo i.d. laws within the past year. four more cut back on early and absentee voting. and four placed new restrictions on voter registration drives. all of the laws were pushed through by republican-led legislatures in the name of stamping out voter fraud. >> there's hardly any documented cases of the kind of voter fraud that they are talking about. >> reporter: mary mancini is a voting rights advocate in tennessee, another state with a new photo i.d. law. >> it's not like, you know, you woke up one day and said "you know what? i'm going go and vote in my name and i'm also going to vote in my dead neighbor's name." that's not what happened. >> reporter: are you saying this is a made-up problem? >> absolutely. absolutely it's a made-up problem. >> reporter: republican state senator bill ketron wrote the tennessee law. >> we want to make sure that the purity of my vote or your vote is not disenfranchised by
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someone-- and all it takes is one-- to knock your vote out. >> reporter: in south carolina, the republican governor nikki haley, stands behind the state's new law. >> we have to show picture i.d. if we're using our check card or getting on a plane or buying sudafed. what are you scared of? >> reporter: but the justice department has rejected the south carolina law saying it violates the voting rights act. that means it won't be in effect for this saturday's primary, but the governor is threatening to sue the administration, scott, to try to get the law reinstated. >> pelley: nancy, thanks very much. fraud is a concern tonight for customers at zappos after the popular online shoe store was hacked. as many as 24 million customers may have been affected. the hackers gained access to customer names, phone numbers, and addresses. but zappos says they were only able to see the last four detective digits of customer credit cards. on this martin luther king day
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we'll show you a chapter in the civil rights movement you've probably never heard of. we go inside the evacuation zone near the crippled japanese nuclear plant. and relief arrives as much-needed fuel makes it to frozen home in, alaska, when the cbs news continues. come soups that you'll love getting to know. new slow kettle style soups from campbell's. extraordinary taste sensations crafted from premium ingredients. slow kettle. new from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
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end his crackdown on protesters. in abu dhabi, the u.n. secretary general demanded assad "stop killing" and listen to his people. but new internet video appears to show protesters under fire from syrian troops yesterday. a dozen more deaths were reported today. ten months have passed since the earthquake and tsunami that touched off the nuclear crisis at the fukushima daiichi power plant. today the u.s. ambassador to japan visited the site and lucy craft went inside the hazardous restricted area around the plant for a rare look at the cleanup effort. >> reporter: to get inside the government-designated no-go zone we had to put on biohazard jump suits, face masks, and we carried geiger counters to detect any radiation hot spots. we passed rolling pastures and persimmon trees, silent now since 90,000 residents fled the nuclear disaster nearly a year ago. our destination: ten miles north
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of the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant where the japanese government has started an ambitious cleanup to make the area safe for humans to return. we're at a site in the town of minamisoma to see a demonstration of how to decontaminate the soil here. the plan is to rid buildings of radioactive particles and remove much of the topsoil from an area about the size of connecticut. radiation levels still remain dangerously high. he's explaining that this is an area of around three microsieverts per hour. unlike other areas, this is primarily residential. microsieverts measure the amount of radiation detected in the air. and even three microsieverts is still 75 times higher than acceptable levels. radioactive cesium can collect in twigs and leaves and workers must remove them all. roof tops, another radiation trouble spot, were scoured with high-pressure water. but it was the cleanup of a primary school that officials
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are most worried about. these bags contain the top inch of soil, it's highly contaminated, it's about to be buried on the site of the school. this time in the playground. the lack of dump sites means hazardous waste is buried where it's dug up. that takes the radiation out of the air. a spokesman for japan's atomic energy agency told me by "by lowering the radiation we hope energy agency told me by "by lowering the radiation we hope to convince parents and children to return as soon as possible." it will be a tough sell. while elderly couples generally want to return to their homes despite the risks, many families say they'll never come back. as we exited the no-go zone, everyone was thoroughly scanned for radiation-- nothing out of the ordinary was found. this cleanup was a trial run. but the government says it will begin a full-scale effort later this year. lucy craft, cbs news, fukushima. >> pelley: in this country, there's a plan to test airport
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[ female announcer ] new swanson flavor boost. security officers who run those full-body scanners at airports have been concerned that they might be exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. the t.s.a. has always assured them and the public that the scanners are safe. but now the los angeles angels of anaheim is reporting the t.s.a. will start testing its officers at more than 100
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airports to find out. the agency will supply them with personal radiation meters like those used at nuclear power plants. there is relief tonight in nome, alaska, now that a russian tanker has arrived. it's set to start pumping more than a million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel into the town. a coast guard ice breaker had to clear a 300 mile path for the tanker. without this delivery, nome would have started running out of fuel in march. a towering piece of history went up in flames today. a cyprus tree in seminole county florida, known as the senator was said to be 3,500 years old. it was once 135 feet tall but now all that is left is a 25-foot stump. it's not known what caused the fire, but investigators have ruled out arson. they stood up for civil rights, but chances are you've never heard of these pioneers.
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it's all mine. and hello to "whoa, yum." use campbell's cream of chicken soup to make easy enchiladas, cheesy chicken & rice, and other chicken dishes that are oh...so...whoa. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. dr. martin luther king, jr. and his legacy. at the new king memorial in washington, viz tord paid wrpt and a wreath was laid in a quiet
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ceremony. president and mrs. obama with their daughter malia marked the day with community service at a d.c. school. while dr. king led the climb to the civil rights mountain top there were others on the journey including some who started a sit-in, not in the deep south but in the kansas heartland. jim axelrod met them. >> reporter: if the sculptures in downtown wichita are designed to salute a certain pioneering spirit, then look no further than this bronze soda fountain. were you thinking to yourselves, hey, we're going to make history here? >> no, we were thinking we were going to sit until we were served. >> reporter: 54 years ago this july, carol parks-hahn led a group of 30 students from the local n.a.a.c.p. into dockums drugstore where they could get food to go but not eat at the counter. >> i simply went in and i sat down and the waitress behind the counter came up to me and she took my order, actually. and she leaned forward and she
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said "you're not colored are you dear?" and i said "yes, i am." >> and the lunch counter was about here, wasn't it, galyn? >> reporter: we brought parks-hahn back to what's left of dockums along with galyn vesey who was the 2-1 at the time and haunted by the hatred of the civil rights movement. were you feeling while there was going on that in your opinion the process of making history? >> well, i don't think at the moment you had time to capture that. because looming not far away was little rock, the montgomery bus boycotts. >> reporter: you were more concerned about your safety. >> certainly. that was part of it. >> reporter: everyday they took shifts at the counter, two to three hours at a time. there was no violence, but the white customers took their business elsewhere. finally, after three weeks, the dockums desegregated the counters at all nine of their stores. this was 18 months before four students sat down at the
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woolworth's in greensboro, north carolina. but it's that counter that's in the smithsonian. the story of what happened here challenges an assumption about racism. >> absolutely. >> reporter: that it was limited to the south. >> yes. some were aware of it and some were not. but kansas and wichita was this way. >> reporter: kansas and a lot of other places, until these students came along. >> we wanted to be able to go down and sit down and have a hamburger and a coke. we couldn't do that. >> reporter: just being able to get a hamburger and a coke. >> it sounds simple, doesn't it? >> reporter: sometimes simple ideas are the most powerful-- like standing up by sitting in. jim axelrod, cbs news, wichita, kansas. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night.
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captioning sponsored by cbs this is the 9news now. tonight police hint at a mysterious suspect. they are not offering any details. bruce leshan says they did tell reporters they have nabbed the main guy, kevin ray, who has a long criminal record. >> a banged up kevin darnell ray arrested in north carolina after allegedly trying to flee the fugitive task force and now in jail in rockville. at police headquarters, recounted how detectives workday and night to capture a man whose violence just seemed to escalate. >> both police departments understood the threat and also the terror that was caused in the community and we worked around the clock to make sure
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